Reduced speed limits considered for many county roads
Having passed a new speed limit ordinance for all county roads in late 2011, Putnam County officials knew it was only the first step in a process.
The 45-mph limit for all county roads except Shortcut Road and Bainbridge-Roachdale Road (50 mph) did not take into account unincorporated towns, roads approaching incorporated towns or stretches where safe driving simply dictates lower speeds.
After a joint review by the sheriff's department, county highway and county attorney Scott Hoff, the commissioners will consider an ordinance reducing the posted speed limits on 20 different stretches of county roads.
The revised ordinance is likely to be on the agenda for the commissioners' Monday, Sept. 17 meeting.
The proposed limits affect nine of the county's 13 townships. All are proposed at 35 mph unless otherwise noted.
* County Road 450 North, from Grassick Lane to Glen Flint Reservoir
* County Road 1000 South (Cloverdale Cemetery Road), from the Cloverdale town limits to County Road 425 East
* County Road 1000 South (Burma Road), extending 2,640 feet west from the Cloverdale town limits
* County Road 1050 South, from State Road 243 to County Road 300 West
* County Road 750 East, State Road 42 to County Road 1200 South
* Heritage Drive in the Heritage Lake subdivision
* County Road 725 East, from U.S. 36 to County Road 800 North
* County Road 1000 North at Carpentersville, from County Road 250 East to CSX Railroad viaduct
* County Road 975 North at Carpentersville, 25 mph from County Road 250 East to County Road 275 East
* County Road 125 South (West Walnut Street), from CSX Railroad to DePauw Nature Park entrance.
* County Road 25 South, from U.S. 231 to Dunbar Covered Bridge, including County Road 125 West.
* County Road 25 North, from County Road 300 West to Dunbar Covered Bridge.
* County Road 675 East at New Maysville, from County Road 850 North to County Road 900 North.
* County Road 900 North at New Maysville, from County Road 575 East to County Road 700 East.
* County Road 825 East at Barnard, from 800 feet north of State Road 236 to 800 feet south of State Road 236.
* County Road 600 South at Belle Union, from County Road 775 East to County Road 825 East.
* County Road 800 East at Belle Union, from County Road 550 South to County Road 600 South.
* County Road 875 West, from County Road 750 North to the Parke County line.
* Poland-Manhattan Road (County Roads 450 West and 500 West), from U.S. 40 to County Road 575 West.
* County Road 625 West at Reelsville, from U.S. 40 to County Road 675 South.
In addition to these changes, the speed limit for all public roads in a platted subdivision is proposed at 35 mph. Last year's ordinance set them at 30 mph.
Many of the proposed changes reflect previously posted speed limits for these areas.
However, the haphazard nature of county speed ordinances left many of them difficult if not impossible to enforce. Some of the posted limits were in difficult-to-locate ordinances while others may never have been codified at all.
The goal of the new, unified speed limit ordinance is to put all county speed limits in one place for the sake of consistency and enforcement.
"It's all a better system than we used to have," Chief Deputy Tom Helmer recently told the commissioners. "It should work out well."